Many foreigners are looking at the various employment and business opportunities presented in the Philippines. The country is becoming a highly competitive and sought after location for young professionals and businessmen in order to access the entire SEA market.
All sectors are full of possibilities as more and more foreign and local companies expand and develop, leaving opportunities for management and expertise to be utilized during growth.
The immigration policy in the Philippines is quite strict with regard to allowing foreigners to live and work in the country. You must have the appropriate visa and work permit, or you could risk fines, imprisonment, and even black-listed from the country. Do Not Worry, Triple i Consulting can assist you with selecting the proper and appropriate visa and process your application from start to finish, reducing processing time and saving you resources.
Some of the most common visas used by foreigners to gain legal status in the Philippines are:
Often referred to as the “9g” visa (because its legal basis is under section 9(g) if the Philippine Immigration Act) this visa is granted to foreigners who have successfully obtained work in the Philippines. The visa is multiple entry, allows for dependents, and can be awarded up to 3 years and renewable to 5. One of the requirements of course is that a legally registered company in the Philippines should sponsor you as their worker. Prior to the visa you must acquire an Alien Employment Permit from Department of Labor, which allows foreigners to work within the country. The visa is fairly quick to implement although recent delays from the restructuring of the Bureau of Immigration have affected all visa processes.
The SWP is given to foreigners that will only work for a brief time in the Philippines usually less than 6 months. The visa is now single entry (until recently it was multiple entry) but does allow for dependents. It is valid for a period of 6 months and can be extended for another 6 months. Holders of the SWP are not required to get a Alien Employment Permit from DOLE.
The SIRV is given to foreigners who have invested 75,000 USD or more within the country. The investment however must be placed in 1 of 3 areas. Either in a publicly listed company, a company participating in the activities of the Investment Priorities Plan from the BOI, or in a company that is involved in the manufacturing sector. BPO and Call centers are listed in the IPP so it would be possible to for BPO industry owners to obtain this visa. The visa is multiple entry, allows for dependents and is permanent; so long as the investment subsides within the country. There is a special SIRV awarded as well from the Department of Tourism that only requires 50,000 USD investment, The investment, however, must be placed into a tourism accredited establishment.
The Retiree visa is a great option for many foreigners looking to live in the Philippines. The legal age for a foreigner to retire is only 35 years old (which is quite young). There is a deposit which has been reduced to only 20,000 USD as the requirement. These funds can be invested into anything including real estate. The Philippine Retirement Authority is a government corporation separate from the Bureau of Immigration which allows for a quick registration process.
Special Visa for Employment Generation
This is a newly created visa to encourage foreigners to set up businesses in the Philippines that will employ local individuals. The requirements are a legal, sustainable business that will employ 10 or more Filipinos. The certification of employment is done through the Department of Labor and Employment. Initially, holders of this visa receive a probationary visa for the first year so that the DOLE will asses the employees to make sure the requirement is met. The visa is multiple entry, allows for dependents and is permanent as long as the company is running and employing 10 workers. The visa takes slightly longer because a it must pass through DOLE and Immigration.
Section 13 of the Philippine Immigration Act allows for a special visa to be given on a yearly quota basis. Depending on the nationality of the foreigner there are up to 50 visas available each year to be acquired from the bureau of immigration. Requirements are 40,000 USD in a time deposit account. The visa is permanent, multiple entry and allows for dependents. Process can be accomplished very quickly if the requirements are met.
Whether you have a permanent residence status or not, to work in a managerial or supervisory position you are required to obtain an Alien Employment Permit from the Department of Labor and Employment. This permit must be petitioned by a company to allow a foreigner to work locally. It is required for a 9g visa. Several other visas as well make it mandatory. The company petitioning must be in good standing and have a valid business permit to apply.
This covers most of the common visas applicable to foreigners wanting to work and live in the Philippines. There are others, but most are used for special situations, for traders and companies registered with the BOI or PEZA.
For more information on work visas in the Philippines or to process your visa; Contact Us to speak to our immigration consultant or make an appointment.
Atty Grace Pangilinan
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